Serie A - Italian transfer news: Napoli create ‘Little Liverpool’

Rafael Benitez is continuing to seek out former Liverpool colleagues as Napoli step up the chase for Javier Mascherano, Martin Skrtel and Alvaro Arbeloa.

Serie A - Italian transfer news: Napoli create ‘Little Liverpool’

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Rafael Benitez and Javier Mascherano (PA Photos)

The Spanish manager has already brought in Pepe Reina on loan from Anfield and, according to newspaper Il Mattino, is lining up further swoops.

Mascherano played at Liverpool from 2007 to 2010 before joining Barcelona for €24m. The 29-year-old has a buy-out clause in his contract worth €100m, so making this approach will be extremely difficult for Napoli.

A more likely arrival is Slovak defender Skrtel, who Il Mattino suggests is close to accepting the transfer to the Stadio San Paolo. The only sticking block would be his wages. The 28-year-old has been at Liverpool since January 2008 and only signed a long-term extension to his contract in August 2012.

Arbeloa, meanwhile, could find himself surplus to requirements under Carlo Ancelotti. The Spain full-back would cost around £7m.

Napoli have also reportedly sent a contract expert to London as they seek to beat Arsenal to the signature of Porto's Jackson Martinez.

The Serie A side, who bought Gonzalo Higuain from under Arsenal’s noses this summer, are competing with Arsenal both in the Emirates Cup and the transfer market.

The Colombian striker has a €40m clause in his contract, though the Partenopei are eager to have that reduced to around €30m.

Both clubs are taking part in the Emirates Cup in London this weekend, so it is the ideal opportunity to discuss terms. Napoli play Arsenal today at 16.20 UK time.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Andrea Chiavelli has flown to London on Friday night. Chiavelli is Napoli’s contract expert and only tends to join in negotiations when they are at a very advanced stage.

Martinez would be another huge boost for the side, who have already brought in Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid.

A crucial summit is expected between Napoli, Porto and Martinez’s agents on Sunday – when the two teams face off on the pitch.

Reports claim Adem Ljajic has agreed personal terms with Milan, rejecting Tottenham or a Fiorentina renewal.

“If he doesn’t accept a new contract then he will be sold,” warned Viola President Andrea Della Valle on Friday, having turned down an €8m offer from Milan.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Ljajic is determined to push through a transfer to San Siro and already agreed a five-year contract worth over €2m per season.

Fiorentina have tried to convince him to sign an extension with the promise he can be sold next year – a similar agreement to the one they had with Stevan Jovetic – but the striker is impatient.

It is also reported that the Viola would prefer selling Ljajic to Tottenham in order to avoid strengthening a Serie A rival, but the Serbian international has his heart set on Milan.

Lazio centre-forward Libor Kozak has reportedly caught the eye of Wigan Athletic.

The 6’3” Czech international has been owned by the Biancocelesti since 2008, scoring 22 goals in 80 official appearances.

However, he is rarely used from the start in major competitions, as last season he was mainly reserved for the Coppa Italia and Europa League group games.

The 24-year-old scored 10 goals in 11 Europa League matches last season, but failed to find the net in 19 Serie A games.

Kozak has repeatedly been linked with Chievo and Udinese, but Lazio have always refused to sell. Now Sky Sport Italia claim Championship side Wigan Athletic are making an offer.

Milan full-back Luca Antonini is thought to be the subject of an offer from Turkish club Besiktas.

The left-back turns 31 on Sunday and has been at San Siro for five seasons, but is falling down the pecking order.

According to Turkish media, Besiktas have presented an offer worth €1m.

It’s not the first time this summer that Antonini has been linked with a Milan exit, as Monaco and Genoa were also said to be interested.

There is an injury crisis in the Rossoneri defence, as Daniele Bonera is out for three months with a fractured kneecap and Jherson Vergara for at least a month after dislocating his shoulder.

Fiorentina have reportedly warned Milan they must make a ‘formal offer’ to begin negotiations for Adem Ljajic.

Viola president Andrea Della Valle said this week that they had turned down a proposal, thought to be worth €8m, as it was “not enough” for his value.

Today rumours emerged that the Tuscans are irritated that Milan only made the offer via telephone through Adriano Galliani.

They await a formal offer before progressing with negotiations.

The Rossoneri have allegedly angered Fiorentina by already agreeing personal terms with Ljajic, even though he is under contract until June 2014.

It was today suggested the Serbian striker had rejected a contract renewal and a move to Tottenham because he is determined to join Milan.

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